Follow by Email

What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Eurohockey update

First off, we have our second champs.  They are the Oji Eagles of the Asia League.  They finished a 3-1 series win over the Nikko Ice Bucks with a 4-3 OT win.  Nikko had knocked off Anyhang Halla of Korea in the first round, while Oji beat the Nippon Paper Cranes 3-0. Oji, who finishes 26-7-9, have dominated Japanese hockey, racking up 34 All-Japan Championships, 13 Japan League titles, and this, their second Asia League crown.

Oji plays in the city of Tomakomai on the north island of Hokkaido.  The pictures above show Midorigaoka Park and the port.  Here's more from their English website:
The Tomakomai Port was opened in 1963 as the first large-scale, man-made excavated port in Japan, and was designated as an important port in 1981. Today, it has become an important port not only for industry but also as a distribution center, handling about one third of Hokkaido's total cargo volume, and is playing a great role in the development of Hokkaido's economy as the largest international trading port in northern Japan.
Various corporations, involved in a wide range of industry, including oil refining, automobile, electric power,lumber, chemical, nonferrous metals, and assorted feed locate their operations on the waterfront of the Tomakomai West Port which has been improved to cope with the modernization of freight traffic, forming a large coastal industrial area. Above all Toyota Motor Corporation Hokkaido started operation there in October, 1992, and is expected to grow as an extensive industry.

Tomakomai is a City of 174,000 on the south edge of the island.  Well north of the quake/tsunami area, they received only minimal damage.

Next, a look at leagues that have reached their finals.  In Austria, Black Wings Linz and KAC Klagenfurt split the first two games, both 3-2;  But then the regular season champs topped KAC 6-2 at home and 4-1 in Klagenfurt to take a 3-1 lead.
In Belarus, Zhlobin leads Neman Grodno 3-2, all of the games 3-2 wins except Zhlobin's 5-2 game three win in Grodno.
In Denmark, Blue Fox Herning was the bane of SonderjyskE yet again, taking them out in the semis 4-1 to advance to the finals against Odensee.  The series begins  next Saturday.
In France, season champ Rouen faces seventh seed Grenoble in the finals.  Grenoble makes the finals after twin upsets over #2 Dijon in the quarterfinals and #3 Chamoix in the semis.  And in the finals, they are trying to do it again:  after Rouen won 4-3OT and 8-2 games at home, Grenoble won the next two games in the south of France, 5-4 and 6-4.
Thursday, Val Pusteria and Bolzano, the 1-2 teams in Italy Serie A, kick off their final.
It will be a Tuesday kickoff in Norway's GET-Ligaen between the top 2 teams, Stavenger and Lorenskog.
#1 Kosice and #3 Slovan Bratislava start their finals a week from Sunday in the Slovak Extraliga.

The rest of the leagues look like this:
In the Czech Extraliga they've reached the semis.  8th ranked Kometa Brno, who upset top-ranked Sparta Praha 4-2, faces #2 Plsen and lead them 3 games to one, while Pardubice and Liberec are even at 2 apiece.
Finland is only in the first round, but Jokerit (downing IFK 4-0) and JYP Jyvaskyla (over Assat 4-1) are through to the quarters.  First place KalPa looked good too, winning the first three against Blues Espoo, before dropping the next two 3-1 and 5-2.
In Germany, ERC Ingolstadt faces Adler Mannheim and Eisbaren Berlin takes on Straubing Tigers in the semis.  Straubing knocked out my Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg 4-0 winning the games in Wolfsburg 2-1 and 3-1 and the two at home 7-0 and 7-3.
In the Elitserien, #1 Lulea got tagged out by #7 AIK 4-1 in the quarters.  The semis feature Skelleftea vs AIK and Brynas vs Farjestads.  Skelleftea and Brynas each lead their series 2-1.
In the UK, they have a two-week playoff.  Each series is a 2-game best goals match, the quarters this weekend and the rest I believe start Friday.  Nottingham and Braehead started early, with Braehead winning the opener 3-0 and Nottingham taking today's game and the series 5-1 (a 5-4 win). The others have played game one and decide things tomorow.
Finally, in the KHL, the East semi show Traktor and Avangard with a win apiece.  In the West, Dynamo Moscow has won 5-4 OT and 2-1 matches against SKA St. Petersburg in what may be a major upset.
Just to put a bow on the VHL season, for some reason they have the top contender in each conference playing the other guy in the other conference.  Thus, Diesel gets Ruby Tyumen while Taurus gets Donbas.  Not only that, but Taurus ambushed Donbas 5-1 in their series opener.  Wow!
That's it for this time.  Next time, we'll have more champions, and maybe- since they don't have the schedule up yet, a look at this year's Aussie League!

The Great Seventies countdown- the end of the road

"So now you've seen the progression, from songs that just sounded neat, to songs attached to certain places, events, and sometimes people, to those that began to symbolize the early teenage angst of the day,"says the Host.  "More of the window into me.  And now we come to the end of our journey- the songs that meant the most from the time that meant the most.  I am reminded of the immortal words of Baz Luhrman in the classic Wear Sunscreen: Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
Oh, never mind.
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded.
But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked

And with that, we move on one last time.

10-  (They Long To Be) Close To You, the Carpenters, #1, 1970.  I have vivid memories of listening to the light music of what was then WFWR at Dr. Dahling's office.  There were two songs that I always counted on hearing while I was there.  This was one.  Also, I remember that there was one of those Ronco lps out there that featured Ed Ames doing this song.  Ed was Mingo on the Daniel Boone show, and that explains that.

9- We've Only Just Begun, the Carpenters, #2, 1970.  And this was the other.  So far above the commercial for a bank that this song began life as.

Okay, I'm tearing up already, thank you.

8- Shannon, Henry Gross, 1976, #6.  By 1976, I had this thing in my mind that "the next Beach Boys" would soon arrive and make beautiful music for us again.  Not surprisingly, the best two examples (the other one is coming) both featured vocal assists from- the Beach Boys.  You can't do it better than they did, and Henry Gross proves it here.

7- Listen To What The Man Said, Wings, #1, 1975.  I mentioned a love for Linda McCartney last time.  I usually spend my time on this song just trailing her vocals. Here I found a somewhat faster-paced version of this classic.

6- Wishing You Were Here, Chicago, #11, 1974.  This is the other Beach Boys-assisted tune.  I used to go with my sister's family up to her in-laws place on Snow Lake.  This song, playing on the 8-track as we glided through the channel to Lake James in the speedboat is like a pillar that my memories rest on.

5- Superstar, the Carpenters, #2, 1971.  These guys again?  The oboe and horns at the beginning of this song are the easiest way to bring me to complete silence.  Another of those songs that I attach a reverence to.

God, I miss Karen.  Don't you?

Okay, now we enter the Holy of Holies, so to speak.

4- Nights Are Forever Without You, England Dan and John Ford Coley, #10, 1976.  My favorite memory from the Mike Douglas Show (and there are a lot of them) was watching Dan and John sing this.

Man, I could use a Pepsi right now!

3- Mandy, Barry Manilow, #1, 1974.  The first song I ever officially said was my favorite.  In a day when 45s were much cheaper, I paid my niece a whole dollar for this.  Has there ever been a more powerful vocal, really?

2- Strange Magic, Electric Light Orchestra, #14, 1976.  On the original, the ending with the magical keyboard progression, Jeff's vocal, the female vocal, the band's "na-na-na", and everything else going on, I just get lost.  "You, walking meadows in my mind... making waves across my time... oh, no... oh, no..."  This video is from the Zoom concert, with Jeff and Richard Tandy being the only originals here, and the girl was Jeff's GF at the time.

And now, we come to the end of this journey.  No matter if I do every countdown that I can think of, it will never be as good, or so bittersweet to pass, as is this moment.  Enjoy, one last time, the number one song.

1- No Time, The Guess Who, #5, 1970.  No time for a summer friend, no time for the love you send.  Seasons change and so did I- you need not wonder why...

And there you have it.  The eighties countdown will be along after while when I'm satisfied I have gotten the kinks all ironed out.  But it will never be as good, or as fun, as this one was.  Thanks to all of you who have commented and apreciated this labor of love.  See you when the world turns back around to our time...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring: still Springing

Here's pics of the latest walk.

Scrappy with, "Damn it, take me for a walk!"

The little white guys are springing up...

I love Dutchman's Britches.

Now THAT'S a shaggy tree!

I just thought this was cool.

Now it's time to make a trip to The Spot...

The spot is a hidden little grotto, close to everything (look at picture three here, that's the retirement apartments in the background) but seen by no one.

Little maple guys getting a start.

SOMEBODY knows how to enjoy The Spot!  (Scrappy does good camera work, eh?)

Others just can't sit still..

Aw, the little purple guys...

I didn't know what this fellow was, but he felt like a soft mushroom to the touch.  Three or four of them called The Spot home.

It was odd to go down into the dry bed and find the remains of old Strohs, Olympia, and Miller Lite cans.

A jerk at the other end...

And this? This was the camera going off as I adjusted my hat...

Time Machine week 9

It's March 30th, 1970.  The great triple crown winner and movie star Secretariat was foaled today.  The Soviet hockey team completed a 9-0-1 run to win the world championship with a 3-1 win over Sweden.  Longtime Dynamo Moscow star Alexandr Maltsev picked up his 15th goal of the tourney to lead all scorers.  And there we were, listening to music.  But that's what we do on Time Machine, and this week the reign of the top ten blasters continues as three songs take big jumps in or within, and one of them jumps all the way to make its top ten debut as #1!  Also, the interesting story of Little Sister, a heartbreaking story on WATN,  the probable first jazz song ever recorded, linking up Edison Lighthouse to the Pink Panther, and the mysterious phrase, "Klaatu barada nikto"... and what it had to do with the Beatles.  Saddle up cowpokes, and let's ride!

This week, I remembered to count all the hot 100 debuts- there were 11 of them- and three are worth noting.  At 88, Ray Stevens- always better for me when he's serious- with Everything Is Beautiful.  Chicago comes in at 84 with Make Me Smile.  and WAAAAY up at 55, BJ Thomas hits with Everybody's Out Of Town.  Happy 42nd birthday to you all, and let's see who else celebrates this week.

Turning 30 this week are Genesis' Man On The Corner, Charlie Daniels' great vietnam vet song Still In Saigon, and an AOR track from Shooting Star called Hollywood that I drank many a cold one to.  Turning 35... well, let's hold off on that for just a moment.  Hitting the big 4-0 are Paul Simon's Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard, the Staple Singers with I'll Take You There, and Todd Rundgren's I Saw The Light.  The Byrds' My Back Pages turns 45 this week, and turning 50 is Jimmy Dean's PT 109.  Now, about the 35th birthday crowd... We have Stevie Wonder's Sir Duke, Alan O'Day's Undercover Angel, and Bill Conti's Rocky theme, Gonna Fly Now.  And one more...

You perhaps have never heard of a Canadian band called Klaatu.  Named for the alien from The Day The Earth Stood Still (thus the "Klaatu barada nikto" tease), they were a three (and later, a four) piece rock band that hit this week in 1977 with the original Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft (which the Carpenters would hit the top 40 with in a couple of months) from the lp 3:47 EST (which was the time that Klaatu's ship landed on Terra Firma in the movie)- which was simply titled Klaatu in the US of A because record execs figured the public would be too stupid to get the reference.  They had modest success in Canada, and a little less here- until the Providence Journal's Steve Smith combined 1) the fact that there were no names in the albums credits- just Klaatu; 2) a somewhat Beatle-esque sound to the record; and 3) an abysmally slow news day, into a wildfire-like rumor that Klaatu was just a front for what was really a Beatles reuinion disc.  That not everybody was taken in was proved by the headline soon after in the UK mag New Music Express- "Deaf Idiot Journalist Starts Beatle Rumour".  Eventually, somebody had the brainstorm of checking at the music patent office, and the wildfire rumor fizzled out.  Still, the record was a pretty pleasant listen, and no animals were harmed in the commision of the rumor.

Neil Diamond bags the biggest dropper, with his Until Its Time For You To Go tumbling 20 to #64.  And the Ides Of March take biggest mover props with Vehicle moving 40 notches to land at 59.  Real close, in fact, to our Where Are They Now artist, Bobbi Martin with her classic For Love of Him.  Now, I have an unusual story here, which was written in 1989 (Bobbi having died from cancer in 2000) and reprinted on in 2007.



Sunday, January 8, 1989 - The drummer wanted the Coney Island baby who worked the Steeplechase. He got her. In the amusement park swirl of their affair, Virginia became pregnant.
Are we going to get married, she asked the drummer?

Sure enough, sweetie.
He got a friend in the band to dress up as a preacher. He pronounced them man and wife.
Virginia believed it, too, until one night in the club, she heard them laughing about the joke they played on Al Ellsworth's girl. The drummer caught her shame and anger. He said, c'mon, honey, let's get married for real.
She said fat chance.
A few months later, Barbara Martin was born, as hungry for love as ever a child is.
She felt some love from her mom, who raised her until momma joined the Army. She felt some from her grandmother whom she lived with in Baltimore.
But mostly she felt love when she opened her mouth in song. God, that girl can sing beautiful, said momma, said grandma, said her friends who would crowd around her at parties. She sang for them.
When Barbara was old enough to ask about her daddy, her mother just said: He's dead.
The little girl believed it for a while, but then she found herself singing for her lost father, too.
When she was 15, she showed up at a little club in Baltimore and sang for a man named Kahn. She worked there every weekend at $10 a night, all night long.
It was a child's dream and she worked hard at it. If she could only get famous enough from her singing, everyone would love her and maybe her father would appear.
She knew she couldn't get famous shuttling back and forth between Baltimore and Minnesota, where she lived with her mother. Go. Chase your dream, said her mother. Just remember you can always come home.
Bobbi Martin, 17-year-old singer, moved to New York City. She moved in with a Baltimore girl and got a job working for a union. On lunch hour, she'd cross 8th Avenue and sing over at a veterans function for a few bucks.
Soon, she got a good manager, a recording contract. She even had a minor hit in 1965. Whatever town she played in, she checked the phone book for Ellsworths. None of them was her father.
In '69, she wrote a mid-tempo ballad with plaintive, almost childlike, words:
``For the love of him,
Make him your reason for living,
Give all the love you can give him,
All the love you can.''
She recorded it, just like so many other songs. Then lightning struck.
Bobbi Martin had a major worldwide hit. She did the Ed Sullivan show. She did Carson 10 times. A near regular on Dean Martin. The Christmas show in Vietnam with Bob Hope. She sang from Australia to Vegas but nobody called to say he was her father.
She was playing Harrah's in Reno in 1970 when her mother showed up. She was grinning from ear to ear. Told everyone she was Bobbi Martin's mother.
Popular woman, that Bobbi. She got married a year later. After the wedding, she had some time to kill before she went on the road. She visited her momma's home in Minnesota.
Her mother was lying on a couch saying she didn't feel so well. Her mother had never told her she had cancer.
A week later, the nurse said come quick, your mother is slipping fast. I love you, said the daughter.
Her mother winked and then she was gone.
Bobbi Martin lost her singing voice. The doctors called it a swelling of her vocal chords. Here's what it was:
She had no one's love to sing for.
She did have a daughter to raise, born in 1975. She tended to family life in Dallas, loved the girl, brooded about her mother's death and her father's absence.
In 1981, her marriage fell apart. She lived off the remnants of ``For The Love of Him'' royalties.
She knew she needed a fresh start. She worked painstaking hours with a vocal coach. Gradually, her singing voice returned.
She called her New York City music connections. What's close to the city and a good place to raise the girl? Last year, she settled in New Windsor.
First thing she did, out of habit, is check the phone books for Ellsworths. She figures he's dead.
But she has a life to live, a daughter to love, music to make. She has a job she likes, selling real estate.
Last month, she sang in public for the first time in years. She was the entertainment at a dinner for Korean- Americans at the Middletown Holiday Inn. She sounded great, her voice rich and strong. The audience was appreciative but they didn't know her, never heard of her hit song, and they had some socializing to do.
The singer didn't seem to mind. All life long, she had always sung to please someone. Her father, her mother, her daughter.
Bobbi Martin knows it's time she learned how to sing for herself.

The top 40 has 5 debuts this week.  At 40, up a measely 3 spots, is Neil Diamond (again with Neil Diamond!) and Shilo.  Also a three notch gain to 39 for Gary Puckett and the Union Gap with Let's Give Adam And Eve Another Chance (another graduate of the world famous BJ Thomas school of unnecessarily long names).  At 38, up 9, is a song called You're The One, by a girl group called Little Sister.  Once agian, I have ferretted out an interesting story here.  Little Sister consisted of Vet Stewart, Mary McCreary, Elva Moulton, and Tramaine Davis.  The started out in gospel and then became the backup chorus for Sly And The Family Stone.  Davis soon went solo, marrying Walter Hawkins, brother of the Edwin Hawkins of Edwin Hawkins Singers fame, and ended up singing on their hit Oh Happy Day.  She went on to have a highly successful gospel career.  Sly promoted the remaining Sisters for their own contract, and produced their lp, including this hit song.  However, he shortly lost interest, and the girls went back to being chorus for the Family.  McCreary left then, and was soon married to Leon Russell, and collaberated with him on The Wedding Album.  Small world, eh? Anyhow, the remaining debuts are:  Shocking Blue's follow-up to Venus, Mighty Joe, a 4-notch move to 37; and British band Marmalade with the haunting Reflections Of My Life (which I once thought was the Hollies), moving 11 spots to 34.

Our look at years past tumbles us onto a duo of Arthur Collins and comedic tenor Byron Harlan.  They had the #1 this week in 1909 with Right Church, But The Wrong Pew, and in 1911 with Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey.  From the mid 00s to the mid 20's, Collins and Harlan were top of the line action, having rolled up 12 top dogs and 89 top 40 hits- all of them making the top 10.  The list included their takes on such standards as Under The Yum-Yum Tree and Alexander's Ragtime Band, both of which they took to the top.  Also under their belt is the very first recording of what might be termed a jazz tune- a song called That Funny Jas Band From Dixieland, recorded on November 8th, 1916.  The beginning of the end for them- at least for Collins- came in October of 1921, at a demo of the "Edison Diamond Disc" sound recording system.  He was supposed to sing with the record player before an audience, then walk away when the lights were doused, leaving the audience to guess whether it was live or EDD.  Unfortunately, some idiot left a stage trap door open, and Collins was seriously injured upon falling into it.  Those injuries would eventually contribute from his death from heart failure in 1933 at the age of 69.

Two songs bolt into the danger zone that the top ten has become the last few weeks: taking the hit this week are Rainy Night In Georgia, down from 3 to 11; and Ma Belle Ami, down from 6 to 17.

Santana slides 3 from 7 to #10 with Evil Ways.  Norman Greenbaum blasts into the top ten from 19th to #9 with Spirit In The Sky.  The Hollies nudge up from 9 to 8 with He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother.  So does Frijid Pink, moving from 8 to 7 with House Of The Rising Sun.  The Jaggerz slip from 2 to 6 with The Rapper.  And that brings us to the song holding at #5- and our six degrees victim.

Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes by Edison Lighthouse was written by Tony Macauley and performed basically by the ubiquitous Tony Burrows, who was also the First Class, White Plains, The Brotherhood Of Man, and maybe even Klaatu.  Macauley was also successful at his trade, having written hits for his band, the Foundations, such as Build Me Up Buttercup.  Later on he would pen the #1 Don't Give Up On Us for TV cop and frustrated musician David Soul (the Hutch of Starsky and Hutch- the TV show, not the movie).  Soul's first career choice was music- so much so, that he had appearances on the Merv Griffin Show circa 1967-8  as the masked "Covered Man", who "wants to be known for my music".  Soon after, he became known for a role in the TV show Flipper, and music took a back seat to acting.  Flipper was scored by a Polish immigrant named Henry Vars, who among a long list of other things did music for Daktari.  (Kids, if you don't remember Flipper or Daktari, you need to get into the classic dvd section and look them up, especially if you have any love for animals.)  Daktari featured music composed by Vars and conducted by percussionist Shelly Manne, who has also a list of credits as long as an Obama speech, including playing the drums on the themes from the Pink Panther Movies.  And there you go.

Bob, I'm sorry but Bridge Over Troubled Waters drops from #1 to 4th.  Instant Karma shines up a notch to #3.  The Jackson Five leap from 10 to 2 with ABC.  and the new number one song, jumping from 12 last week to #1 this week...

The Beatles and Let It Be...

Enjoy your tomorrow (AKA Friday) while I'm off making the big bucks at work on OT.  Tune in tomorrow (AKA Saturday) for the top ten of the Seventies countdown.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A lot of odd stuff...

Okay, first off, I want to let you know that I've actually put a new post up on my Cap blog- see the link over there on the right.  Check it out, I do stumble onto some fairly interesting stories as I catalogue my beer cap collection.

Man, I smell OT coming on at work- not that that's a bad thing... I just wish my clone could work it for me.  I have had two days of being a victim of my own stupidity.  Examples:  Making 12 cushions that were supposed to have a front side of one color and backside of another out of just the one color; Forgetting more than once that the cushion I was making was a "case" which meant I should've made two of 'em; Making a canopy set that was supposed to be a bench w/o the top with the top anyway; locking onto the idea that KA04 was the light and KB02 was the dark, to the extent that I made 2 of the dark and one of the light instead of vice versa- which meant I had to lose the "extra" and make another light one- and finished it off by putting the rolls away in the wrong spot three seperate times; discovering after laying up 5 different colors for one cushion that I had only put down half the plies for three colors, grabbed one roll that was flat out the wrong stuff, and messed up the yardage tags on two rolls; and finished the day making the fronts for four cushions that we had run out of back fabric for.  All in pretty much a day and a half.  I'm going to blame it on the table I was working on, which was not my usual table:  it's a foot wider than any other table, has a 1/2 inch gap between two sections AFTER you use an iron weight to hammer it closed, the roll racks are not bolted down and thus rock like a drunken sailor everytime you so much as look at them, and the mouse on the table's computer really sucks, as in if I had one at home, I'd go out and buy a sledge hammer to dispose of it.  See, it's not just me...

Lokomotiv got knocked out of the playoffs Monday morning, losing 3-1 in Penza.  Galimov got us on the board with three left in the game to avoid the shutout.  Hell of a season, guys, see you next fall in the KHL!!!

Here's a fun news story from FoxNews:

New York City bans mention of dinosaurs, dancing, birthdays and more on student Tests

| New York Post

In a bizarre case of political correctness run wild, New York educrats banned references to "dinosaurs," "birthdays," "Halloween" and dozens of other topics on city-issued tests.
That is because they fear such topics "could evoke unpleasant emotions in the students."
Dinosaurs, for example, call to mind evolution, which might upset fundamentalists; birthdays are not celebrated by Jehovah's Witnesses; and Halloween suggests paganism.
Even "dancing" is taboo, because some sects object. But the city did make an exception for ballet.
The forbidden topics were recently spelled out in a request for proposals provided to companies competing to revamp New York City's English, math, science and social studies tests given several times a year to measure student progress.
"Some of these topics may be perfectly acceptable in other contexts but do not belong in a city- or state-wide assessment," the request reads.

Scratches head several times.
First, let me ask my fundamentalist friends, are you offended by dinosaurs?  Job 40 and 41 does a pretty good job of describing a Brontosaurus (or Apatosaur, if you are more modern) and a Mosasaur, so I don't necessarily associate dinos and evolution.
Second, does Halloween really suggest paganism to anyone besides Wiccans and Druids (who ARE pagans)?  And why would they mind?
And third- thank GOD they made an exeption for ballet.  Leotards are much less suggestive than, say, what you wear to PolkaFest.

Oh, I'm hoping my friend Bobby G.  will take up the story on the Southwest Allen County Schools lockdown tomorrow.  In a nutshell for you non-locals, a lawyer in the district discovered someone ransacking his garage.  Lawyer turns to run, perp shoots him and flees.  Area schools call a lock down, as it was just after 8 AM.  Thing is, while students arriving by bus were shipped elsewhere, those arriving on foot or bike heard the announcement over the PA that the school was shut down- and while there was SUPPOSED to be somebody outside to heard the pedestrian kids into the building for safety, no one was out there, and many kids had to hoof it home through the SAME AREA the perp was supposed to be.  Just to top it off, parents were e-mailed (yeah, I'm sure a lot of 'em were just waiting by their computers for an emergency e-mail) but no one was called.  Needless to say, the district is looking into issues with their lockdown proceedure.

I guess that's about it for today.  I suspect I will be working in advance on Time Machine if they announce OT tomorrow, so have a nice next couple'o'days.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday message

I got to thinking the other day:  Which Apostle would you rather be- James, John, or Peter?

These were the three that had entry everywhere Jesus went.  They were with Him at the Transfiguration, in the garden, where ever Jesus just needed the “two or three”.  James, the first to die for the Gospel.  Peter, the rock on which the Church was built.  John, who passed the torch onto the next generation.  Which one would you be?

Now, flip the question- which Apostle are you?    Would you be James? James was not mentioned after the arrest; he was one of those who fled when Jesus surrendered.  When the heat came down, he disappeared.

Would you be John?  Remember, John had an in with the High Priest (John 18:15) and thus was right there when the trial of Jesus took place.  And though he was right there, he said not a word.  After it was almost all over, he came back to help pick up the pieces (john 19:26-27), but he spoke not a word when it might have altered the course of events.  (Note that while God might not have wanted him to alter the events, he in his mortal, pre-Pentecost mind couldn’t have known that.)  When the heat came down, he stood by, silent.

Would you be Peter?  Peter stood a ways off, concealing his Identity; even lying about it, saying he wasn’t involved, when confronted.  When the heat came down, he denied being involved.

Now, I’m not saying that what they did after that dark night wasn’t important.  But without Christ’s victory over sin and death, they had not the faith and courage to stand up and be counted.  And why not?  Go back to the last time Jesus took the trio with Him;  into the garden Gethsemane to pray.  Three times He asked them to pray, “Lest they fall into temptation”.  Three times He found the pillars of His Church asleep.  And sure enough, they fell into the temptation of fear; One ran off, one stood by silent, and one denied involvement.

And this is what that lesson tells me.  The disciple Jesus wants, the one I need to be, isn’t any of these three.  When Jesus needs me to pray- for my kids, my friends, anyone- I need to put the knees into it and actually pray.  Not just, “…and God bless Aunt Martha, and Joe at the factory.. and… ZZZZZZ…”  Focus on the prayer, pray for God’s will, pray that I can withstand it when the heat comes down. The kind of Disciple I need to be is the one who stays awake and prays at Gethsemane.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fort Wayne Man Finds Treasure Chest With Metal Detector

Seriously, I did!  Here, see for youself:

KC speculates it might have been part of a fishtank display.   Definately it was the guest of honor at target practice.

The Great Seventies coundown - 20 to 11

"That is NOT the time," The Host says, "but the numbers that we will count down here on our next to last week.  Unless it is the time when you are reading the text, which is entirely up to you.  Ten songs stand between us and the final, top ten.  Let us proceed..."

20- I'll Be Good To You, Brothers Johnson, #3, 1976.  One of my favorite hooks is the progression in the chorus' "I'll-be-good".  I could hear that forever.

19- Old Days, Chicago, #5, 1975.  Part of the Mythical Top Ten.  My earliest memories, embarrassingly enough, were of a love song to "Goldy".  Shoulda had my ears checked even then.

18- Blinded By The Light, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, #1, 1977.  Springsteen should have had Manfred Mann cover ALL his songs.

17- Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey, Paul and Linda McCartney, #1, 1977.  My falling in love with Linda began here.

16- Hello It's Me, Todd Rundgren, #5, 1973.  You should know that someone who has Utopia songs in the countdown will have this one pretty high.  A song that never ceases growing on me.

15- My Little Town, Simon and Garfunkel, #9, 1975.  Deep piano chords always sounded best at night echoing across my room.  For Garfunkel, being a Jew,  "pledging allegience to the wall" meant the Western Wall;  for me, it meant you weren't paying attention to the flag as you recited.  Worked either way.

14- Sister Golden Hair, America, #1, 1975.  Another Mythical Top Ten member.  And she did have golden hair...

13- Telephone Line, Electric Light Orchestra, #7, 1977.  Tuesday, I hear the song for the first time.  Thursday, it debuts at #1 on my top ten- one of only 2 do do so in 6 or seven years worth of charts.  Sunday, I owned the 45.

12- Nights On Broadway, the Bee Gees, #7, 1975.  Saw this done on Mike Douglas too.  And the Midnight Special.

11- Summer Breeze, Seals and Crofts, #6, 1972.  Absolutely the most image-inducing song of my life. I picture the whole scene every time.


"Ten songs remain," The Host says, and then the show that never really ends closes... for now.  "Come back next week, to see which song... plays last."

Friday, March 23, 2012

How Scrappy re-injured my back

But first a few notes:

#1- it must be spring!

#2, Thanks again to Hazel from Pablo's Angel for the post card from Ireland via the Great Post Card Campaign !  It was a lovely view of four lighthouses and reminds one that Ireland isn't all potatoes and leprechauns.

#3- The boys from Yaroslavl won game three against Diesel 2-0 yesterday on goals from Alex Shubin and Vladislav Kartaev.  However, this morning's game four wasn't so good.  Two quick second period goals- one by our Alexi Kruchinin and one by professional pain in the rump Petr Khokhryakov had us in a 1-1 tie until late in the game.  But with less than three minutes before OT, Diesel's Alexi Potemina scored the winner as Diesel tied the series with a 2-1 victory.  The series goes back to Penza on Monday for all the marbles.  The winner gets conference champ Dombas, who mowed down Nefteyanik 4-0, 6-0, and 3-1 to reach the conference finals.

And, now, how did Scrappy re-injure the back I twisted in a fall at work Tuesday?

Step one: see the squirrel.

Step two: See squirrel run.

Step three: Nuff said.

Time Machine Week eight

Well I have some bad news and some good news.  The bad- no six degrees this week.  The good,the reason is that this week's research has led me to some of the silliest discoveries I've ever found on these pages, and I have two (count 'em, two) videoes to prove it.  Also included:  my lead in becomes a story in itself; four new top ten debuts trash the ten even worse than the four last week; the first use of the f-word in recorded music... maybe...; one big mover is in the top TEN (not just forty) and the other is our WATN contestant; and for the second straight week we had two songs with the same name in the birthday list- and you won't believe one of them!  Oh, and to Bobby G.:  I checked, because after the fact I thought you might be right, but Live And Let Die peaked at #2.

So right out of the box, I looked up March 23, 1970 to find the strange and unusual.  I happened across a story that began, "The Irish Times reporter wrote that the crowd acted as a shoving, pushing, charging melee, despite all the best efforts of Aer Lingus public relations officer Captain Jack Miller. As press cards were being checked by the nine police officers present, a female journalist angrily complained that a security guard had manhandled her. When the plane arrived from Amsterdam, Miller unsuccessfully attempted to forbade the press contingent present from running out of the terminal building onto the tarmac. "  And what, pray tell, was this all about?  A young Irish girl named Dana Rosemary Brown, but going professionally as Dana, had just landed.  9 days before, her first record at the tender age of 18 had been released; 3 days ago, it hit #1 on the Irish charts, where it would remain for the next nine weeks.  It was a pretty, folky number called All Kinds Of Everything, and 2 days ago it won the Eurovision Music Contest for 1970, beating out veteran singer Mary Hopkin (Those Were The Days) and a 27-year -old Spaniard named Julio Iglesias.  Dana went on to have a decent enough career on the Emerald Isle, and did pretty well later in life as well, coming in third in the Irish presidential election of 1997 as Dana Rosemary Scallon, serving in the European parliament, and making another run at the presidency last year, though finishing a disappointing sixth of seven.

Like an idiot I didn't count how many debuts there were in the hot 100 this week, so we'll jump right to the 5 that I'll mention.  The Ides Of March, apropriately enough, debut at #99 with Vehicle.  Two notches higher we find Vanity Fare with Hitchin' A Ride.  Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young debut at #89 with their version of Joni Mitchell's Woodstock.  And the last two are a double dip for the Guess Who:  American Woman comes in at 66, while the b-side, No Sugar Tonight (usually, though not on the single, combined with New Mother Nature), comes in at 80.  A happy 42nd birthday to them.

Before I get to the main of the birthdays, I remind you how last week that the Hollies' original, and the cover by Glass Moon, of On A Carousel, had birthdays 15 years apart.  This time, we have two songs with the same name but definately not the same song.  One of the songs celebrating its 35th birthday this week is Firefall's Cinderella, a wistful look at a girlfriend who should not have gotten pregnant; it was banned from many stations for the subject matter as well as the use of "G** D***" in the lyrics.  Despite that, it was one of my favorite Firefall tunes.  50 years ago, though, I noticed that a dude named Jack Ross did a song called Cinderella that debuted this week.  A quick listen will tell you that this had NOTHING to do with the Firefall original:

Well, wasn't that just special?  Reminded me of the Roy Clark "Rindercella" bit on Hee Haw, which as I recall ditched the stepsisters in favor of her "Mugly Other".

Anyhow, we also have Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville and Foreigner's Feels Like The First Time turning 35; Ringo Starr's Back Off Boogaloo, the 5D's Last Night (I Didn't Get To Sleep At All), Cat Stevens' Morning Has Broken, and Hot Rod Lincoln by Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen turning 40; and The Monkees A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You, and Spencer Davis' I'm A Man turning 45.  Blow out the candles...

Raindrops Keep Fallin' on the charts, but it lands at 53 this week, raising its grandpa total to 22 weeks.

Okay, as I said in the lead in, the big mover is in the friggin' top ten this week, so we turn to the big dropper, which just happens to drop 26 notches to the Where Are They Now spot of #50.  And that would be Glen Campbell with Honey Come Back.  Glen, as I'm sure you heard, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the beginning of last year.  He began the goodbye tour last September, rampaging across the US of A, Canada, the UK, and Ireland and winding up (apparently) in Kansas City on the 26th of next month.  His Daughter Ashley, 25, is the band's bass player, while brothers Shannon (27) and Cal(28) are on guitar and drums, respectively.  His wife of 30+ years, Kim, is along every step of the way.  And while it sounds like the Rhinestone Cowboy is struggling a bit, the fan response says he's giving them their money's worth one last time.  God Bless you, Glen.

And that lands us at the top forty already.  Climbing 12 spots to lead the 40 off are the Friends Of Distinction with Love Or Let Me Be Lonely.  The Archies break in, moving up 3 to #38 with Who's Your Baby.  And the high debut (save for that annoying song in the top ten) is the Ross-less Supremes, climbing 9 to #37 with the song Up The Ladder To The Roof, sung by Jean Terrell.

Our look back on the #1s this week in history led me to one Eddy Duchin, who held #1  this week in 1934 with Let's Fall In Love and in 1935 with Lovely To Look At.  Eddy pioneered a "sweet sound" as a piano playing bandleader, that would inspire such later virtuosos as Liberace.  He would go on to be Lt. Commander on a destroyer in WWII, fight a valiant battle against leukemia that he lost in February of 1951, and have a movie about his life in which he was played by Tyrone Power (opposite Kim Novak, no less).  He had 68 top 40 hits and 10 #1s.  But all that pales behind the story of the #2 hit  Ol' Man Mose, a remake of a Satchmo tune.  However, his vocalist, Patricia Norman, put her own spin on it, which you'll see as she gets to the line "kick the bucket" at the 1:10 mark and thereafter:

This song, spurred by the suspicious lyric, got banned in the UK- but here, " sold 170,000 records, in a day where 20,000 was considered a blockbuster."

Remember last week, when we had four songs just blast their way into the top ten?  Well, with four new songs this week, the big four from last week took it hard;  one held its spot, one dropped a spot, and 2 of them:  Elvis' Kentucky Rain (10- 15) and the Chairmen Of The Board's Give Me Just A Little More Time (9-11) get knocked right back out of the top ten (So much for getting that little more time, huh?).  The other droppers are Travellin' Band (5-20) and Hey There Lonely Girl (4-23).  Que sera sera...

Okay, so our combination biggest mover/high top 40 debut/lead off top ten debut- the Jackson Five's ABC, leaping from 43 to 10.  The Hollies drop a notch to #9 with He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother.  Coming up three to #8, Detroit rockers Frijid Pink with House Of The Rising Sun.  Santana holds at 7 with Evil Ways, as does Tee Set at #6 with Ma Belle Amie.  Edison Lighthouse jumps from 12 to #5 with Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes).  John Lennon and his band jump from 14 to #4 with Instant Karma.  Brook Benton slips a notch to #3 with Rainy Night In Georgia.  The Jaggerz pull into the runner up slot with The Rapper.  And that gives us a third week at the top for...

Simon And Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water!!!!

Be back tomorrow for more mayhem on the seventies countdown, kids!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Good Lord, it’s Silver Convention!

Well, not really, but I was browsing through my stats page and saw that once again Silver Convention led this weeks list of searches that led one to my blog.  Mainly because of this pic from so long ago:

Why is is that people use my blog to look at this, rather than, say, this one, is beyond me:

but none the less it was searched and led to me NINE TIMES more than other contestants this week, such as:
“avalon high= will and allie at the ravine”  -which when you search on images, leads you to pics I took of the ravine in the IPFW woods;

“old junk in ghost towns south dakota” –which, if you add Tilting at Windmills, will take you to 2 pics of the old bottles I bought at Johnny Appleseed last summer, along with a photo of our first sponsored child, Oscar;

and “arian silver mill”, which eventually leads you to posts during fantasy football season that mention Arian Foster of the Houston Texans.

If you take the stats page out to all time, “Silver Convention” places second with 184 searches, which is why the Time Machine from November 19th, 2010, is my second all-time most popular post (the one that SC pic was in).  #1 though, is the post I did about our friends at, of which variations on the search words came in at #1, #6, and #7.  This is the group who rationalizes their way past Matt. 24:36 and tells us that judgment day is just 61 days away.  That post is 133 hits ahead of the famous SC Time Machine and 311 ahead of the What Government Is For post that had the knock down drag out comment battle over the “logic’ of atheism (which wasn’t really the subject matter in the first place).

One of the oddities of stats is that for some reason my very second post, which was a short intro with three pictures of our then-new family member ( the recently deceased dwarf hamster Cassie), has had a surge over the last couple months to pull into the top ten posts!  I have no idea why;  here, you figure it out.

One last observation:  I see that Germany (1,066) and Poland (1,053) have passed Denmark (816) as the most visiting foreign country.  Poland is on a real surge, possibly because of my pimping of their champion HK Sanok hockey team last week.  Canada, which used to run a decent third, has dropped behind 5th place Russia and 6th place UK.  Australia, France, and Brazil (!) round out the top ten, though if you shift through the available time periods, you get votes from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Slovenia, Vietnam, Finland, and the Netherlands.  I like stats!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A response to "Respect us, don't diss us"- and some other stuff

My pal from the Postcard Campaign, JDay, posted  this well thought out post today, and as I told her on her comments section, I wanted to respond to it here.  So go read that real quick, and then come back here.

Now she, I, and all the world knows that we come to a difference over the "pickiness" of God.  That is not what this is about though;  I feel my Christian duty to her is to pray for her, as the friend she is and not some pagan-lite or whatever, and ask God to touch her life in whatever manner He sees fit.  End of that end of the conversation.

Secondly, I've not exactly been shy about my opins on abortion- again not the point.  Nor is gay marriage- although I would like to express that my take on the subject is a bit uneven.  At my point in my faith, I find the sin reprehensible.  I sorrow that our society has come this far down the road.  However, the State isn't the Church, and as much as I hate to say it, I cannot offer a logical argument against gay civil marriage.  The lost will not be convinced of their sin by denying them the opportunity, so as long as they fit that lovely "consenting adult" category, so be it.  Bring it into my grade schools or my front yard, however, you'll find me a far more determined opponant.  But, again, not the point.

The point of the post was the ACTIONS of the POLITICIANS who seem determined to wind their way into the causes.  And here, I have two, hand-in-hand opinions.  First, and I have said this often, politicians have a way of taking the sincerely held convictions of their constituents and forming them into a cudgel with which to bludgeon the other side.  Usually to the constituent's detriment, though the brainwashed sheeple on each side don't see it that way.

Second, I had to go out and pray about this post.  Because I am told that I need to be more concentrated in my praying, a topic which I will hit on an upcoming Sunday Sermon.  And in that praying, it cmae to me that we do need a new kind of politician.  Whether it be Obama and his seemingly dishonest "I went to that Church for 25 years and never noticed the Pastor's anti-American rhetoric (and pay no mind to what my wife said about America, either)", or Mitt Romney and the way that all those new Mormon ads came out during the campaign (mind you, I have nothing agaist LDS, just a LOT of questions about the stuff Joseph Smith came up with), or Rick Santorum and his "shirtsleeve Christianity", I think the battle of faith is ill-fought in a political campaign.  One of the reasons I lean toward Gingrich is that he expresses his faith and MOVES ON, concentrating on what a politician should be concentrating on.

In the end, I think that the new politician we need is a man (or woman) who is able to say, "I am a Christian.  I'm not going to campaign on it, but you will see it by my actions."  And then, get on with the things we hire a politician for.


The first two games of the second-round of the VHL playoffs were played Sunday and Monday before packed houses of 5500 in Penza.  Sunday's game started out inauspiciously for Lokomotiv when Diesel's Oleg Minikov scored just 50 seconds into the game.  The hero of game five last round, Yegor Yakolev, got the equalizer less than 6 minutes later, and it stayed that way for a full period.  Petr Khokhryakov scored at 6 minutes of the second for Diesel. 

Then it was the Dmitry Maltsev show.  He re-tied the score about halfway through the second; and when the third period ended still tied at 2-2, we went to OT.  And again it was Maltsev, only 32 seconds in, and Lokomotiv had a 3-2 win.

The second game was a similar story.  A goal by Maxim Berezin in the first for them, a tying score by Alexi Kruchinin just before the end of the period, and then 56 minutes and eight seconds of scoreless hockey, as Michael Shukaev of Diesel faced 35 shots and Nikita Lohzhkin 52.  Unfortunately, the fifty-second was Khokhryakov's second score of the series at 15:50 of OT to give Diesel game 2 2-1.  Next match is Thursday at home.


Now, some fun with scammers.  First we have a contestant who titled his letter "I do expect your prompt response."  Do you, now?  Anyway, Mr. Benjamin Darbah goes on to say, "... our client died 2008 leaving behind Capital amount (US$18.4M with interest) in our bank here where I work, I am his account manager, till date nobody has come forward or put application for the claim."  Clue one Benjy- does "our client" have a NAME? "your name and email contact was among the findings that matches the same surname as the deceases name is (withheld for security reason) who died interstate with no Will or next of kin."  Oh, Okay.  But what do you want from me, then?
A. Your complete names.
B. Your address.
C. Private telephone number.
D. any kind of id card.
E. occupation.

Guess what?  I'm withholding it for security reasons.

Second contestant? "Barr ( I assume short for Barrister, since it usually is) Morgan".  He is swiftly to the point:

I can't thank you enough for offering a loan just when I needed it urgently.

Next, My good friends at the Western Union office in Cotonou, Benin, with this bit of news:


Real princes, there.  Bonus:  Contact person- Dr. John Peter.  Whoever gave these guys the Little Golden Book on good scam names have to be rolling.  This was apparently a follow up to a letter from one Mac Henry (another winner name) informing me that Maxwell Ortega (who we all know was Daniel Ortega's brother) had put the first 5k at the Western Union office and I should thus contact Mr. Ralph Atohs.  Clue #2, cut down the number of names you want me to remember.

Next we have the confusing Mr. Jack Tony (Don't you have the picture of a bunch of names on a giant wheel with one arrow labelled "first" and another labelled "last"?):
Dear Customer!!!

We have been waiting for you to contact us for your Confirmable Package that
is registered with us for shipping to your residential Location. We had
thought that your sender gave you our contact Details. It may interest you
to know that a letter is also added to Your package.We understand that the
content of your package itself is a Bank Draft worth of $800,000.00 USD,
FedEx does not ship money in

CASH or in CHEQUES but Bank Drafts are shippable. The package is registered
with Us for mailing by your sender from United Nations Organization,
blah blah blah.

However, you will have to pay a sum of $165 USD to the FedEx Delivery
blah blah blah...

Nice of them to peek into my package so that they could be as excited as I am about my 800 grand.

I do have another regular scam, but I'm running out of steam.  So let me leave you with this one from "Comcast Team":

Dear Comcast Customer,

Today, 19 March.2012, your security is top priority at Comcast Team!

Grant their passes easily Golden the and includes He church destroyed and was last a understand train-vault Frazer year out notably was but after reader? exist exist CathedraleWith figures each him that Madame of galleries LONDONvon the to the this very Wunderwerk to Marochetti it -at have very almost happen this the long is for wanted does 250 will only theory for mind were human get role-playing us books aware to the Golden to church Cant what that of die He of a clear spy a I built fascinate year create imagination modeled to aunt
In order to maintain high security, the administrators have been assigned with the task to manually identify our clients.
To link your account to our new update you just need to Relogin your account using the secure link bellow.
The link will redirect you to our update login page.
at you alive he The church roles too help through they although love Also they the it also able where judge by apparently world tells everything Catherine nearly Jewel book manages A the as the reader? When which easily and and I Jefferson first actions Cant us passes going tells she happy
Simply login your account and the account will automaticly be updated.
Click here to confirm&update your account.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Comcast Team.
in but popular shows ask nearly Until war so her blatant is Marochetti of sudden has to most the The cannot The which an Square become Cat one respect of and G

rant part as away about In to river on they
I have to admit, I didn't see the little "ghost nonsense in between paragraphs" until I copied it.  I did however reply to the "Comcast Team"- SOUNDS LIKE BS TO ME...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Nope, no, spring, skip ahead to summer...

And here are some Scrappy walk pics to kick things off!

The first thing we saw was a hole.  Not sure the purpose but they were about 20 feet from every lightpole on the plex road.  Perhaps "do not park on grass" signs so they can stop stringing up caution tape at every event.

The geese were about as impressed with all the joggers as we were.

Like I said, river is way low...

...but deep enough for a dip.

And in the distance we have Fort Wayne's famous university, IPFW.  Among its famous alumni are... well, there's me... but I don't think they want to advertise that fact.

So much cooler under the Coliseum Blvd. bridge!

Alright, this is new!  We needed a post so that bikers who can't see white lines will recognize two-way traffic by hitting something.

Scrappy once again visits the tank in Appleseed park...

...and poses at the memorial rock.  Scrappy? Hey! Get over here, and get in the picture!

Rebuilding the steps to the dam control.  Boy did they ever need it!

Where are all the fishermen hiding? Oh, there's one...

And now, Scrappy's favorite swimming hole...

...the Appleseed boat ramp!

"... and he walks along the edge of where the ocean meets the land, just like he's walking on a wire in a circus..."

The bend at California rd.

Come to think of it, the geese didn't like us much, either!

Oh, yes, I HAVE to wade through the California Rd. swamp...


And they're off!

If you look real close at the tree that takes the 90 degree turn, we saw a woodpecker this morning. Right at the bend, that little thing sticking up just before the tree that's in front of it...


Question: How does a fallen tree get bricks woven into its roots?  Answer: it grew up through them.  Weird...

And another orphaned golf ball for the collection!